Tulsa Police Investigating Possible Ring Involving Debit Card Theft

Friday, August 13th 2010, 9:12 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- A Jenks man has a warning for others: beware of debit card fraud.

He found out the hard way after his account number was stolen and someone rang up more than $1,000 in bogus charges.

And he may not be alone. The News On 6 learned Tulsa Police believe more people may be at risk.

"I just saw it and was like, 'that's not right.' And I freaked out and called my bank immediately," Brian Daniels said.

Brian Daniels had quite the surprise Thursday afternoon.

"It was over $1,600, three separate transactions," Daniels said.

All charged to his Tulsa Teachers Credit Union bank account from a Wal-Mart in Florida. The trouble is Daniels lives in Jenks and he has never been to the Sunshine State.

"I was freaked out," he said. "I happened to check my account online and I noticed that all my money was gone, I was like 'where in the world did it go?' I checked the transactions and there was these three charges and I was like, 'I didn't make those.' So I frantically called my credit union and said, 'this isn't right.'"

"It's getting harder and harder everyday to actually prevent it," Tim Lyons, TTCU Chief Financial Officer, said.

Tim Lyons is TTCU's Chief Financial Officer. He says the credit union is issuing new debit cards to about 1,000 members who may have had their accounts compromised.

He says the theft of credit or debit card account numbers is getting worse as criminals are getting smarter.

TTCU says there are two main things you can do to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud. One, always monitor your accounts, especially online, and never give out any personal information whether it be a social security number, a PIN number or your account numbers.

"We already have that information so we're not going to contact our cardholder and ask for that," Lyons said.

Daniels says he wouldn't have caught it had he not actively checked his account, that's why he's speaking out and hoping others follow his lead.

"I wanted to just make everyone aware that there's something going out there right now," he said.

TTCU says Tulsa Police is investigating and believes there may be a ring circulating through Tulsa that's stealing account numbers.

They suggest everyone double check with their financial institution to make sure everything is okay.